The Church and use of video: Debunking some common myths

Img_0246 Being a part of a church that has a video venue, I have found the following to be true in our experience as well as that of many others.  We are not in a big city, do not have gobs of money and so I feel the need to debunk some common myths about the use of video in the local church.  An interesting article about this is at the Out of Ur Blog:  Video Venues and the Papacy of Celebrity: Why changing the methods always changes the message Many think this just is too expensive, promotes personalities and that media itself is dangerous.  In fact, people thought the printing press was dangerous.  There were some against radio as a tool of ministry.  In recent experience we have all seen dramatic falls of people who have used broadcast TV as medium for delivering their message.  But, somehow, I think what we see in local churches using video is different.

MYTH: Video is really a change in having one speaker in many places: TRUTH is that one pastor for multiple parishes existed in America long ago. (ie. circuit riders)

MYTH: You cannot know the character of someone on a screen TRUTH: Leaders in smaller churches can hide just as easily their character.

MYTH: Giftedness, talent and looks are over played in video venues. TRUTH: The results of the gift, the fruit of lives changed, really does matter.

MYTH: You need a lot of money to do video venues Img_0247_1

TRUTH: It costs WAY LESS than planting a church and EVEN MORE less than building a building.  It is good stewardship for many to do it.

MYTH: Media itself is message and only promotes celebrity. TRUTH: Media is SIMPLY A TOOL, and can be used for accomplishing our mission of reaching people for Christ.

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

28 comments

  1. Good post on Out of Ur. I don’t go to a satellite church, but my dad does. It helps some people meet God. That can’t be a bad thing.

  2. Good post on Out of Ur. I don’t go to a satellite church, but my dad does. It helps some people meet God. That can’t be a bad thing.

  3. Good post on Out of Ur. I don’t go to a satellite church, but my dad does. It helps some people meet God. That can’t be a bad thing.

  4. Good post on Out of Ur. I don’t go to a satellite church, but my dad does. It helps some people meet God. That can’t be a bad thing.

  5. The use of video is not, in and of itself, a good or a bad thing.
    However, I would echo some of the concerns from the Out of Ur post…

    …I would add some of my own:

    How can we say we are raising disciples, if we are continuing to maintain our own control over preaching?

    How can we say we are planting churches, if they are not responsible for their own preaching?

    Why should the quality of preaching be the focus in the first place? Shouldn’t we rather focus on equipping the members of the Church to be ministers?

    I don’t have a problem with satellite churches, or video feeds; I do question what impact these things have on the mindset of the Church. We westerners already have a severely perverted understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and what it means to be a Church. Do we want to add to the perversion by encouraging people to think of the person up front as the ‘minister,’ and ourselves as receiving ‘ministry?’

    The person up front (and in reality, it is better if there is more than one, and if they are not ‘up front’) is the ‘equipper,’ while we are equipped to ‘minister.’

    This does not mean there are not appropriate times and places for this technology, but rather that we should be wary of the ‘hidden curriculum.’ (read the Schultz’s Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church: And how to Fix It)

  6. The use of video is not, in and of itself, a good or a bad thing.
    However, I would echo some of the concerns from the Out of Ur post…

    …I would add some of my own:

    How can we say we are raising disciples, if we are continuing to maintain our own control over preaching?

    How can we say we are planting churches, if they are not responsible for their own preaching?

    Why should the quality of preaching be the focus in the first place? Shouldn’t we rather focus on equipping the members of the Church to be ministers?

    I don’t have a problem with satellite churches, or video feeds; I do question what impact these things have on the mindset of the Church. We westerners already have a severely perverted understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and what it means to be a Church. Do we want to add to the perversion by encouraging people to think of the person up front as the ‘minister,’ and ourselves as receiving ‘ministry?’

    The person up front (and in reality, it is better if there is more than one, and if they are not ‘up front’) is the ‘equipper,’ while we are equipped to ‘minister.’

    This does not mean there are not appropriate times and places for this technology, but rather that we should be wary of the ‘hidden curriculum.’ (read the Schultz’s Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church: And how to Fix It)

  7. The use of video is not, in and of itself, a good or a bad thing.
    However, I would echo some of the concerns from the Out of Ur post…

    …I would add some of my own:

    How can we say we are raising disciples, if we are continuing to maintain our own control over preaching?

    How can we say we are planting churches, if they are not responsible for their own preaching?

    Why should the quality of preaching be the focus in the first place? Shouldn’t we rather focus on equipping the members of the Church to be ministers?

    I don’t have a problem with satellite churches, or video feeds; I do question what impact these things have on the mindset of the Church. We westerners already have a severely perverted understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and what it means to be a Church. Do we want to add to the perversion by encouraging people to think of the person up front as the ‘minister,’ and ourselves as receiving ‘ministry?’

    The person up front (and in reality, it is better if there is more than one, and if they are not ‘up front’) is the ‘equipper,’ while we are equipped to ‘minister.’

    This does not mean there are not appropriate times and places for this technology, but rather that we should be wary of the ‘hidden curriculum.’ (read the Schultz’s Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church: And how to Fix It)

  8. The use of video is not, in and of itself, a good or a bad thing.
    However, I would echo some of the concerns from the Out of Ur post…

    …I would add some of my own:

    How can we say we are raising disciples, if we are continuing to maintain our own control over preaching?

    How can we say we are planting churches, if they are not responsible for their own preaching?

    Why should the quality of preaching be the focus in the first place? Shouldn’t we rather focus on equipping the members of the Church to be ministers?

    I don’t have a problem with satellite churches, or video feeds; I do question what impact these things have on the mindset of the Church. We westerners already have a severely perverted understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and what it means to be a Church. Do we want to add to the perversion by encouraging people to think of the person up front as the ‘minister,’ and ourselves as receiving ‘ministry?’

    The person up front (and in reality, it is better if there is more than one, and if they are not ‘up front’) is the ‘equipper,’ while we are equipped to ‘minister.’

    This does not mean there are not appropriate times and places for this technology, but rather that we should be wary of the ‘hidden curriculum.’ (read the Schultz’s Why Nobody Learns Much of Anything at Church: And how to Fix It)

  9. I think the idea of giftedness really should be measured with the idea of fruit. Control is one thing, having people operate in their giftedness means more fruit. This is more of a spiritual administrating of gifts rather than a substitute for discipleship.
    The myth of the word “papacy” is that in video churches there are more lay leaders being empowered and less professional staff per church members in the types of churches mentioned. What this does in all practicality is allow for people to specialize–such as a teacher spending a lot more time preparing or a shepherd doing more visitation, etc. This might make the smaller church feel less because one guy does so much more and cannot spend 25 hours on sermon prep. But, I see this as apples and oranges. Both are good. God likes variety. Being a generalist in ministry is still very significant. However, we are in danger when we value stardom over kingdom fruit.

  10. I think the idea of giftedness really should be measured with the idea of fruit. Control is one thing, having people operate in their giftedness means more fruit. This is more of a spiritual administrating of gifts rather than a substitute for discipleship.
    The myth of the word “papacy” is that in video churches there are more lay leaders being empowered and less professional staff per church members in the types of churches mentioned. What this does in all practicality is allow for people to specialize–such as a teacher spending a lot more time preparing or a shepherd doing more visitation, etc. This might make the smaller church feel less because one guy does so much more and cannot spend 25 hours on sermon prep. But, I see this as apples and oranges. Both are good. God likes variety. Being a generalist in ministry is still very significant. However, we are in danger when we value stardom over kingdom fruit.

  11. I think the idea of giftedness really should be measured with the idea of fruit. Control is one thing, having people operate in their giftedness means more fruit. This is more of a spiritual administrating of gifts rather than a substitute for discipleship.
    The myth of the word “papacy” is that in video churches there are more lay leaders being empowered and less professional staff per church members in the types of churches mentioned. What this does in all practicality is allow for people to specialize–such as a teacher spending a lot more time preparing or a shepherd doing more visitation, etc. This might make the smaller church feel less because one guy does so much more and cannot spend 25 hours on sermon prep. But, I see this as apples and oranges. Both are good. God likes variety. Being a generalist in ministry is still very significant. However, we are in danger when we value stardom over kingdom fruit.

  12. I think the idea of giftedness really should be measured with the idea of fruit. Control is one thing, having people operate in their giftedness means more fruit. This is more of a spiritual administrating of gifts rather than a substitute for discipleship.
    The myth of the word “papacy” is that in video churches there are more lay leaders being empowered and less professional staff per church members in the types of churches mentioned. What this does in all practicality is allow for people to specialize–such as a teacher spending a lot more time preparing or a shepherd doing more visitation, etc. This might make the smaller church feel less because one guy does so much more and cannot spend 25 hours on sermon prep. But, I see this as apples and oranges. Both are good. God likes variety. Being a generalist in ministry is still very significant. However, we are in danger when we value stardom over kingdom fruit.

  13. I agree. And might add one more:
    MYTH: Video is far less personal than live teaching.
    TRUTH is that personality and rapport can sometimes be better communicated on video than from from a far-away live speaker. Good camera operators and producers make a BIG difference.

  14. I agree. And might add one more:
    MYTH: Video is far less personal than live teaching.
    TRUTH is that personality and rapport can sometimes be better communicated on video than from from a far-away live speaker. Good camera operators and producers make a BIG difference.

  15. I agree. And might add one more:
    MYTH: Video is far less personal than live teaching.
    TRUTH is that personality and rapport can sometimes be better communicated on video than from from a far-away live speaker. Good camera operators and producers make a BIG difference.

  16. I agree. And might add one more:
    MYTH: Video is far less personal than live teaching.
    TRUTH is that personality and rapport can sometimes be better communicated on video than from from a far-away live speaker. Good camera operators and producers make a BIG difference.

  17. Hi Brian!
    What you say is true in our experience. Our video venue people seem captivated to the speaker more than the live venue. They see him close up and laugh along, etc.

  18. Hi Brian!
    What you say is true in our experience. Our video venue people seem captivated to the speaker more than the live venue. They see him close up and laugh along, etc.

  19. Hi Brian!
    What you say is true in our experience. Our video venue people seem captivated to the speaker more than the live venue. They see him close up and laugh along, etc.

  20. Hi Brian!
    What you say is true in our experience. Our video venue people seem captivated to the speaker more than the live venue. They see him close up and laugh along, etc.

  21. Never having experienced a “video venue” church, it’s hard for me to comment on the pros and cons. However, I did attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last year at a video venue and found it VERY successful. being able to actually see the speaker up close was way better than seeing them as tiny specs on a stage.
    To say this is unbiblical would be a stretch. I’ll bet if Paul had the ability to speak using a video venue he would jump on it in a heart beat.

    Is it usually the case that these video venue types of churches have individual pastors who “shepard” these churches? If so, I’d be curious to know the challenges these pastors have had and the positive differences they’ve had being a video venue church.

  22. Never having experienced a “video venue” church, it’s hard for me to comment on the pros and cons. However, I did attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last year at a video venue and found it VERY successful. being able to actually see the speaker up close was way better than seeing them as tiny specs on a stage.
    To say this is unbiblical would be a stretch. I’ll bet if Paul had the ability to speak using a video venue he would jump on it in a heart beat.

    Is it usually the case that these video venue types of churches have individual pastors who “shepard” these churches? If so, I’d be curious to know the challenges these pastors have had and the positive differences they’ve had being a video venue church.

  23. Never having experienced a “video venue” church, it’s hard for me to comment on the pros and cons. However, I did attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last year at a video venue and found it VERY successful. being able to actually see the speaker up close was way better than seeing them as tiny specs on a stage.
    To say this is unbiblical would be a stretch. I’ll bet if Paul had the ability to speak using a video venue he would jump on it in a heart beat.

    Is it usually the case that these video venue types of churches have individual pastors who “shepard” these churches? If so, I’d be curious to know the challenges these pastors have had and the positive differences they’ve had being a video venue church.

  24. Never having experienced a “video venue” church, it’s hard for me to comment on the pros and cons. However, I did attend the Willow Creek Leadership Summit last year at a video venue and found it VERY successful. being able to actually see the speaker up close was way better than seeing them as tiny specs on a stage.
    To say this is unbiblical would be a stretch. I’ll bet if Paul had the ability to speak using a video venue he would jump on it in a heart beat.

    Is it usually the case that these video venue types of churches have individual pastors who “shepard” these churches? If so, I’d be curious to know the challenges these pastors have had and the positive differences they’ve had being a video venue church.

  25. Both churches I have worked with use video campuses in different ways. But one thing is consistent – each one has a ministry team, and a pastor for the campus. I think one common misconception is a movie – theatre mentality where people pile in, watch a movie and leave. That in fact is not the case in my experience. There are teams and volunteers and staff all the same. Anyhoo.

  26. Both churches I have worked with use video campuses in different ways. But one thing is consistent – each one has a ministry team, and a pastor for the campus. I think one common misconception is a movie – theatre mentality where people pile in, watch a movie and leave. That in fact is not the case in my experience. There are teams and volunteers and staff all the same. Anyhoo.

  27. Both churches I have worked with use video campuses in different ways. But one thing is consistent – each one has a ministry team, and a pastor for the campus. I think one common misconception is a movie – theatre mentality where people pile in, watch a movie and leave. That in fact is not the case in my experience. There are teams and volunteers and staff all the same. Anyhoo.

  28. Both churches I have worked with use video campuses in different ways. But one thing is consistent – each one has a ministry team, and a pastor for the campus. I think one common misconception is a movie – theatre mentality where people pile in, watch a movie and leave. That in fact is not the case in my experience. There are teams and volunteers and staff all the same. Anyhoo.

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